City of Vancouver approves redevelopment plan of Odd Fellows on Kingsway

A zoning request for the redevelopment of Odd Fellows Manor was unanimously approved by City Council before today’s City of Vancouver’s Public Hearing.

Hugh Forster, Partner at Terra Special Projects, spoke on behalf of Three Links Care Society and the Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society for the City of Vancouver’s support of the Odd Fellows Manor redevelopment.

Mayor Robertson & Council,

My name is Hugh Forster. I am a partner at Terra, and I wish to speak briefly about the history of this project.

Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society has provided housing for seniors since the Manor was constructed in 1971. Through the redevelopment of the site they wish to continue to meet the growing need in the lower mainland for safe, clean, and affordable housing for seniors on a low, fixed income. Additionally, they felt strongly that the replacement of the old, dilapidated building with a vibrant new building would be positive for the Kingsway Collingwood community.

In 2012, Odd Fellows approached Terra Housing, one of the City’s best-known social purpose real estate firms, about the redevelopment of Odd Fellows Manor. We immediately set out to find a solution for the Project.

The existing Manor is in poor condition, and it requires significant and expensive maintenance, and Odd Fellows felt replacement was a better option. Over the next two years, Terra worked with Odd Fellows on a building design and a development agreement wherein Terra would replace the 44 units with units at no cost and no risk to Odd Fellows. To accomplish this, Terra would develop some commercial space along Kingsway and market-rental apartments on the upper floors of the new building, and would use the profits generated from these to pay for the replacement of Odd Fellows seniors rental units.

In early 2015 Terra approached Hungerford Properties, a family-owned Vancouver-based firm, to partner with them in the development of the Project. Hungerford immediately jumped at the opportunity to use their financial and development capacity to assist Odd Fellows in this vision and to provide 117 much-needed rental units into the Vancouver market.

Odd Fellows, Terra Housing, and Hungerford Properties are proud of both the partnership we have created and the building we are proposing to the City. We thank the City’s Staff for their encouragement of this Project, and ask the citizens and Council of Vancouver for their support for this re-zoning. Thank you.

With the Council’s approval, Terra Special Projects and Hungerford Properties will now move forward with the completion of the Development Permit application for the project. The project is expected to commence construction in the summer of 2017. Stay tuned for more updates!